Do not approach health insurance with fear. It is true the field is complex and your options are many, but the more you learn, the safer you will feel. Health insurance is similar to healthcare itself. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By making smart choices when you select health insurance, you can avoid difficulties in the future.
Think about your family’s health when considering a health insurance plan provided by your employer. If your health is good, you may choose to purchase insurance that has a lower premium. Although the premiums are lower, you may be at risk if problems arise.
If you are a recent college graduate and you are looking into health insurance, there are a couple of options for you to consider. If you’ve got a job, use the employee-based insurance it provides. If you are under the age of 26, you can be on your parents’ insurance and you can always research personal insurance plans, as well.
When thinking about what type of insurance plan to purchase from your employer, keep in mind the overall health issues of everyone in your family. This may lead you to purchase insurance with a cheaper premium if you do not have any anticipated health issues. While this may be cheaper initially, this could cause risks if problems develop.
Health Insurance Premiums
The way you manage your health care insurance may actually earn you tax breaks around April. Not everyone is aware of this fact, but the amount of money you pay in for health insurance premiums can actually be claimed on your taxes. Health insurance premiums, prescription costs, deductibles and other expenses not covered by insurance may be deductible on your tax return. Because state and federal tax regulations vary for these deductions, you’ll want to check your state guidelines first.
Remember that insurance is regulated by the state, and so it cannot be carried over state lines. If you end up in a hospital outside your state, you might not be covered. Insurance companies can be strange like that, so you need to know all the ins and outs of your policy.
When you are planning on buying your own health insurance plan, first you need to figure out what all the costs will be. Take into consideration all the costs coming your way, such as premiums, deductibles and co-pays. While these can be confusing at first, it is in your best interest to know the costs, and reasons, before you purchase a policy.
Decide which health insurance plan will fit your needs the best. You can select a POS, HMO or PPO. Each has different pros and cons that you should find out and consider before you purchase a policy. Make sure that you’ll be able to keep your doctor if you want to.
If you plan on getting pregnant in the near future, it is important that you get a health insurance plan that will pay all of your expenses, from pregnancy to labor and delivery. This is critical because a number of medical coverage policies do not extend to certain elements involved with pregnancy and/or labor issues.
Bear in mind that the costs for individual policies are usually higher than those of group insurance offered by employers. You may need to sacrifice some aspects of your policy to help keep the cost affordable, such as a higher deductible or less coverage. Compare the premiums, deductibles and coverages of multiple providers.
It’s important that you understand your spouse’s insurance situation and options before you take out a health insurance policy for your spouse. If your spouse has access to health insurance through an employer, the company you’re dealing with may hit you with a surcharge. In some cases, keeping your coverage separate will result in lower overall costs, so run the numbers for both scenarios.
Starting a personal Health Savings Account or HSA is a good idea if you are among the lucky few that rarely goes to a doctor’s office. This is an alternative to health insurance where you save money in a tax-deductible account in order to pay for health services.
Group insurance rates are cheaper. Thus, health insurance plans you purchase through your employer will always offer lower rates than individual insurance plans. If you are not currently employed, you could still get cheaper health insurance buy joining a trade organization which offers its members group health insurance plans.
Your prescription benefits can change from year to year, so check with your insurance provider on an annual basis to make sure that you still have the coverage you expect. Health insurance companies tend to change the medications they cover, so see to it that you read the contract’s fine print each time you re-enroll. If you have daily medications that your current insurance stops covering, find a new provider.
Catastrophic health coverage is a good option for people who cannot afford a regular, comprehensive insurance policy, but want some kind of coverage in case of a sudden and unexpected accident, injury, or life-threatening illness. It can also be a good addition for anyone’s health care portfolio to give some extra coverage in case of an extreme circumstance.
The point of injury or illness is not the time to learn about deficiencies in your health insurance. You should prepare yourself ahead of time by learning all the ins and outs of your insurance and by being aware of the alternatives available to you. Having a poor insurance policy is not a good decision, but you can change that anytime.